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For teenagers, a vegan diet is more beneficial than an omnivore diet.
There are many discussions around veganism and if it is beneficial or damaging to your health and wellbeing. In this dissertation, I will explore both of these views, as well as providing evidence for each, I will also include my experience and opinion on this topic and whether I think, a vegan diet is more beneficial than an omnivore diet.
“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
Vegan diet like any diet has its benefits and withdrawals. Vegan diet allows you to eat more of fresh and less saturated foods however limits your access to vitamins and minerals, which are only found in animal products, or are in large quantities in animal products but small quantities in animal products. Such as B12 which is a vitamin found only in animal products, meaning vegans would have to take supplements for these vitamins.
The World health Organisation has classified that one of the causes of cancer is consumption of processed meat, which suggests that an omnivore diet is perhaps not that beneficial. Some research has linked vegan diet with lower rates of things such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and types of cancer this is because the research has found that vegans have lower blood pressure and lower levels of cholesterol. This is due to eating more fresh foods and less saturated foods as well as being unable to eat most fast foods because of this they would consume less processed foods.
Even a famous chef- Jamie Oliver has uploaded some information on a vegan diet as well as making few positive points on a vegan diet. One point that actually surprised me as a reader was “According to the “eat well” plate, you will see that less than 15% of our diet should be made up of protein.” The blog suggest we all should consume less protein for our own health and wellbeing. This leads me to personally believe that a vegan diet is more beneficial and healthier than an omnivore diet.
According to the American Dietetic Association, “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” Although the research is mainly focused on vegetarian diet, it also has stated that a vegan diet could also provide health benefits and prevent diseases if it is properly planned and flowed. This supports the view of ‘The World Health Organisation’.
From a Christian point of view, I think veganism would be accepted and encouraged as Genesis 1:29 (New International Version) states “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”
“European Food Information Council. Meat consumption is not where the healthy diverge from the unhealthy, but rather where the balancing act changes.” This does not support my statement and argues that meat is not the issue but rather the quantity of intake of the meat. To further support this, “The average American eats 270 pounds of meat a year, which is double what the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends.”
When looking at the nutritional intake of vegans composted to omnivore we can see that vegans can often lack things such as B12 vitamins. This would mean that vegans would have to keep a close eye on what they eat to make sure they meet all the requirements of a healthy diet. However it can be hard to determine what is health and what is not (including quantity). The omnivore diet however is also flawed, being high in saturated fat and processed food.
When focusing on the mental side of this. I think a vegan would have a better mindset and spiritually happier as they live a more organic and cruelty free lifestyle, helping the environment and animals. This could make the individual value other life more considering the impact they have on other things such as environment or other species which could increase their empathy and understanding.
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